Listen To The Hog and
Every year we hear the "Coach Speak" Coming out of training camp. The entire league is under pressure to give the relentless new cycle some kind of new information. You have to watch very closely how the teams treat their players both on the field in pre-season games and during the training camp process. Here is your guide to deciphering the non-stop blabber.
Case in Point: - There is always that player that is having his "Greatest Camp Ever." When this comment is iterated early in the season, when a team has had three days in the classroom, one day in walking through plays in t-shirts, and a single practice session actually on the field in pads, it really does not mean much. This is what a coach wants everyone to believe, but is not necessarily based in fact.
Carted off the field - Star player goes down and the media focuses on how bad it must be because he was "carted off the field." Another classic coach speak move that is aimed right at the hometown media at practice. The poor guy has a hangnail and a bud-light waiting in the back room. Look below for either "Strained xxxxx" or "Torn "xxxxx" to determine validity.
Strained xxxxx(insert muscle group here) - This one is all over the place. How many of you go out for the weekend tennis match against your buddies and get stiff on Sunday/Monday? Same basic problem and when your guy is the stud RB this really means "Sit down son, I wanna look at the young guys, we gotta figure out who your backup is."
Running Well in Practice - Closely related to "Making Good Moves", "Looks Really Good", "Strong Training Camp", and "Really has Potential" - Coach speak for "I gotta say something!" Have any of you ever heard a coach in training camp talk about how bad the guys they have are? Maybe they talk about bad effort or criticize his fitness, but every guy on the field "Has Some Real Potential This Year" and is "Really Looking Good."
Not Considered Serious - Not really injured at all, this is training camp and we already know what his role is going to be.
Torn ACL/Achilles - OK, this one matters. Generally followed by "Season Ending Surgery." Get these guys off your list.
Season Ending Surgery - Better pay attention to this little tidbit, these affect your draft day strategy.
Pre-Season Games - Watch the 1st Quarter and change the channel. The guys you see on the field by the 3rd Quarter will not even be on the team come September. Teams that are struggling to run their new offense will keep the starters in longer and most teams will play them a little longer in the 3rd game. This is "ALWAYS" an exciting time of year for Fantasy Football owners, but try to keep your excitement in check about those hot young players you see in the 2nd half. Those are beer goggles, and if you wear them on draft day, you WILL be disappointed.
Bottom line is that you have to pay attention to the status of the individual players in the NFL before you go into your fantasy draft. Never be "That Guy" that drafted a stud RB who is already out for the season. However, put a really strong bullshit filter between you and the news because they have to write something and most of it has a familiar smell.
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